When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead since before it won the 2010 Newbery Medal, so I recently decided to do a reread via audiobook.
1979, and Miranda is a savvy Manhattan city-dweller: she knows to
ignore the rough boys who hang out at the garage down the street, not to
talk to the crazy homeless man who sleeps with his head under the
mailbox, and to have her key out and ready when she gets to her
apartment door. Her main preoccupations are with school, friends, and
helping her mother prep for an upcoming appearance on the game show The
$20,000 Pyramid. But then, all of a sudden, things start to change. After
an inexplicable encounter with another kid on the street, Miranda's
best friend Sal stops talking to her -- even though his getting punched
wasn't her fault. Even more mysteriously, strange notes begin arriving
for Miranda. What do they mean? Who are they from? What should Miranda
do about them?
Every time I read this book, I am impressed at the
tight plotting and skillful writing. Listening to the audio version was
no exception, and Cynthia Holloway's narration perfectly captured
Miranda's smart, youthful voice. This is a book that gives its readers
credit for intelligence without seeming at all pretentious, and while I
may have its flaws, I certainly can't pick them out. The characters are
nuanced and grow throughout the course of the story, the pacing is
steady, the story is neither too long nor too short, and there are bonus
references to A Wrinkle in Time. What's not to love?
(Reviewed from an e-audiobook borrowed through my library system.)